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Site Value Tax

Ireland generally does a poor job of taxing land and property. Our inefficient Local Property Tax is a perfect example of this. A Site Value Tax would be a fairer and more efficient way to generate revenue, and it would also incentivise better use of land.

It is clear that tax policy will play a vital role both in the immediate Government response to support people and businesses, and in rebuilding our society and economy once the worst of the health impacts are contained.  The new Government has an opportunity to reform and broaden our tax base and lay the foundations to increase our total tax take now to ensure we are well prepared to meet any future shocks.  We have a once in a generation opportunity to build a new society, a new economy and a new country that reflects the lessons we have learned in recent weeks. 

As we navigate through the global crisis caused by COVID-19, it is clear that tax policy will play a vital role both in the immediate Government response to support people and businesses, and in rebuilding our society and economy once the worst of the health impacts are contained.  This policy briefing explores some options available to the new Government that would increase our overall tax take as a proportion of national income,  broaden our tax base, and deliver a tax policy that would support our social and economic recovery and a new Social Contract

The Central Statistics Office recently published the Household Finance and Consumption Survey 2018.  This is the only household survey that collects combined information on asset, income and debt levels of Irish households.  It provides us with a valuable data and insight into where wealth and assets are concentrated (both in terms of location and income deciles), and the levels of debt of Irish households. 

A Site Value Tax would be a fairer and more efficient way to generate additional government revenue than the current Local Property Tax, and it would also incentivise better use of land at a time when Ireland faces a significant housing and accommodation crisis.

The current Local Property Tax system in Ireland is regressive.  It encourages land hoarding and speculation, while dis-incentivising necessary development, such as building more homes in a housing crisis and retrofitting some of the 230,650 homes with the lowest energy efficiency ratings. 

In the 7th episode in the SJI's Ten Minute Lessons series, Colette Bennett, Research and Policy Analyst, provides an overview of what the Site Value Tax is, how it works and why it is fairer than the current Local Property Tax system.  Tune in on iTunes, Spotify, Podcast Republic or wherever you get your podcasts.  Or download direct from our website.